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The Value of an Experienced Officiant

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Officiant Pricing – What to ask and how to determine what you need:

Should you get a bargain-bin Officiant? Maybe.

Ask yourself these questions to determine, how important or special you want that moment to be in your life, even if you’ve been together for a long time:

  1. Are they legally qualified, or did they get ordained online and think they are but aren't (I always have to fix these from fly by night Officiants). And if so, how long have they been doing d ceremonies and if they are new, do they know how to fill out the paperwork correctly (impt!),

  2. Will you be nervous and therefore do you need an Officiant who is confident, relaxed, and helpful to guide you through it?

  3. How important is it to you that they are professional and committed to what they do?

  4. Does timeliness in getting back to you, and being on time for your ceremony matter?

  5. Do you care how they dress and if they looking good in your photos?

  6. Does it matter what their portfolio looks like (yes, I try and colour coordinate my folders to the bridal colours)

  7. Do you want them to be memorable and enjoyable for your guests?

  8. Do they just read or do they bring the right tone and presence to the ceremony?

  9. Are they experienced enough to offer support – sample vows, readings, rituals, etc.

  10. Can they respond to the unexpected with ease (like fire trucks going by, window washers in high rises, rainy days without a plan B, crying babies, etc…so many etc’s lol!)

  11. Are they flexible – will they let you do your own vows, allow for different readings, encourage different types of rituals past rings, candles or sand ceremonies, allow for music and photographers?

  12. Do they know how to move around and direct you for flow of ceremony and good photos?

  13. How organized are they to ensure they will have the right ceremony on them and respond to requests you’ve made after the initial conversation with them?

  14. Do they know how to create a ceremony that is expressive and customized for you?

  15. Do they work in your style or will they throw in jokes, set limits on your photographers, or make religious reference beyond your agreement?

  16. Do they know the venues and each of their perks and things to warn you about when booking from having worked there?

  17. If you don’t have a wedding planner, do they go above and beyond with pre-ceremony set up and orchestrating your guests for set up during the ceremony and where to go after?

  18. Do they speak your language well? When getting married overseas, you may opt to elope in Canada for a cheap price and get a friend to do your celebration ceremony.

  19. Do they have a good reputation and come recommended by others as shown on 3rd party reviews?

You might also get a Friend to Officiate the wedding, and save money by having a professional do the paperwork ahead of time, but I have a whole blog on what to consider regarding this option as well.

Finally, if none of this matters to you, you might want a bargain bin Officiant because most professionally really work hard to make your moment special and if it doesn’t matter much to you, it’s an icky feeling kind of a day for them and they would rather you didn’t book them.

You have a lot of planning to do, and it can be very overwhelming, but a good Officiant will make this aspect of your big day easier… if they know what they are doing.

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